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Riots force rethink on Britain's juvenile justice


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You cannot just treat teenagers like adults in punishment and expect the best results. Some of these could use jobs because their parents are not giving them any money and they are learning fiscal responsibility at home either.

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Cameron has two big problems here, and he is trying to avoid them by playing the "lock-em-up and throw away the key" card. First, he was having a nice holiday in Tuscany and failed to appreciate the seriousness of the situation until he was forced to return to Britain. This has made him look weak and detached, and he has lost a lot of support; note the way the staunchly Tory paper the Daily Telegraph has turned on him. Secondly, funding and manpower for the police have been subject to massive cuts, along with other public services. The police don't need any new powers, and they don't need instructions from toffs like Cameron; they need more police officers and more support services. Banging up first-time offenders and making families homeless isn't going to solve anything, and will only create more trouble down the line.

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Just get the kids and send them on working holiday for 1-6moths depending on their age and participation in the riots, to do some volunteer work in some really poor communities in some poverty striken countries in Africa, for example, work like gathering firewood, food, carrying buckets of water, cleaning, or earning money instead of the local kids by working at cacao/coffee plantations or carrying bricks. Thus they will learn that not having the latest game, or TV set, or smartphone, or brand clothes isn't real poverty. I just read an article about some of the looters-rich and bored kids, elite students, musicians. If they didn't have food to eat and clothes to wear, why would they try to steal a cell phone (like in the case with the Malaysian boy with the broken jaw) or TV sets? Send them to learn what real misery is.

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Sasoriza, your idea would no doubt be criticized as inhumane and/or infringing upon their human rights or some other such nonsense by the same people who are worried about the delinquents' "self-esteem."

I agree with you though. Put the kids to work, and make them "useful." The problem is that they live in a society where the phrase "there's no free lunch" does not apply. It's nothing but free lunches.

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Not a very lucky thing, stock exchange and investors don't' like instability and might flee. Any unrest can cause tremendous economic turmoil especially now, when the whole world economy is tightrope walking ahead.

Might be easier tho handle when it only caused by juveniles, though, but for how long?

Rethinking and changing juvenile law might certainly be useful and timely in creating a social environment that might make juveniles to assume responsibility for their own actions and life, but it will only only work for a limited period of time and for a limited number of youth. What about their parents' and the whole society's responsibility? It seems to be that serious social, economic and educational problems cannot be solved by punishing and deterring, just adjourned.

Meanwhile, that is what seems to be the only tool that politicians, lawmakers and law enforcement posses and sadly it is also a kind of violence itself that will be returned by more violence.

It's like we are in a powder keg and politicians giving off sparks.

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What has happend to teh old sayings "children should be seen and not heard" and " a woman's place is in the home". Though the first sentence is not entirely true, the lack of old fashioned home life and teaching methods cause much of these problems. Everytime a woamn is pregnaant she should have parenting lesson and those who are not deemed capable monitored and educated further.

Children need a mother they can trust and talk to. They also need a father or father figure who they can respect and guide them onto the right path and teach them how to act in a civil manner. Scvhools should also allow greater discipline but not corporal punishment.

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